Essaka Hoisa by WaqWaq KingdomRelease date: November 15, 2019
Label: Phantom Limb
WaqWaq Kingdom is a collaborative project between Kiki Hitomi (best known as part of King Midas Sound with Kevin Martin and Roger Robinson as well as dub/noise merchants Dokkebi Q) and Shigeru Maharishi (best known as DJ Scotch Egg and also a member of post rock band SeeFeel) and the two artists worlds collide on their new album Essaka Hoisa, the follow up to their debut Shinsekai and much like that record, it’s a vibrant collection of sounds and manic rhythms and beats.
Drawing from traditional Japanese history and mythology as inspirations, the album fuses both warped and fun electronic sounds with a sense of freedom that both members have demonstrated numerous times on their musical journeys to create a joyous collection of off the wall anthems. It is that spirit of freedom, that really allows the music WaqWaq Kingdom to do what it wants, and that is to create some uplifting and mind altering music that both of its creators should be really proud of.
Hitomi’s beautiful vocals are allowed to soar over the searing beats and while they are a lot less manic than the ones that Scotch Egg normally produces, there is still that element of craziness all over the music of WaqWaq Kingdom although it is done in a more subtle manner.
Tracks like the opening combo of ‘Mum Tells Me’ and ‘Doggy Bag’ blend dancehall energy with Hitomi and Ishihara’s inimitable musical personalities to get things off to a banging start and from then on it’s definitely a roller coaster ride of beats, bleeps and off the wall vivacity. From the hypnotic ‘Itadakimasu’ to the energy that keeps building and building of ‘Gift From God’ via the acid tinged bliss of ‘3rd Eye’ and the grooving discordance of ‘Circle Of Life’.
It’s not all high energy music though with the track ‘GaGa’ acting almost as a interlude that brings you back down to Earth with its sinister feeling and subtle blasts of harsh noise and this just demonstrates another side to WaqWaq Kingdom and their influences.
As Essaka Hoisa concludes with the hazy ‘Warg’ (which features perhaps the most blissful use of Kiki Hitomis vocals on the record and a truly thrilling climax of throbbing and chopped up footwork style beats) and finishes up in triumphant and euphoric style with ‘Medicine Man’ which is the perfect way to end things. There is so much going on on this closing salvo that it plays just like a film score especially on the thrilling sequence at the beat heavy climax of the track and you can’t help but feel enthralled by what you have just heard.
It’s early on in the career of WaqWaq Kingdom but they are definitely producing music of a very high calibre as demonstrated on Essaka Hoisa and the musical talent of both band members and what they create is a joy to listen to and explore.